Revenge is best served on a lacrosse field.
After being beaten by Queen Anne’s twice in the 2013-14 season, including the Bayside Championship, the Stephen Decatur girls lacrosse team knew what games were most important heading into this season.
The regular season game against the Lions, and the Bayside title game rematch that loomed all season.
Check and check, the Seahawks beat Queen Anne’s 15-14 in a thrilling comeback overtime game in the regular season and then capped it off with a 9-7 win on Tuesday to be crowned Bayside champs.
“They kind of find a way to win,” head coach Bob Musitano said.
Seniors Ally Beck and Blair Yesko scored the go ahead goals in the final eight minutes to seal the win for the Seahawks.
It was all tied with 9:23 remaining after Kallie German scored her fifth goal of the night, dodging and weaving through the Decatur defense off a draw control.
The Lions, who dominated draw control most of the night, won it again and looked poised to score.
But the Seahawks’ defense buckled down and Decatur’s version of the road runner did what she does best.
Beck slapped away the ball, picked up the ground ball and took off down the field. The senior ran the whole length and circled out to set up the offense.
“Just bringing the energy to the team, and it really got us all going,” Beck said. “After that timeout (in the first half), we came back in and shut them down the whole first half. Getting a stop on D, it’s just momentum going up and I just try and maneuver my way through.”
But that was all a fake, Beck completed the circle and beat the goalkeeper to give Decatur the 8-7 edge with 7:40 remaining.
“She’s probably the fastest kid in the Bayside,” Musitano said. “I’ll make that bold announcement, but she wants to win. She’s not flashy. She doesn’t score 20 goals a game, but she scores at least one and it’s needed when she scores one.”
The Seahawks would win this draw control, but Queen Anne’s would end up with an offensive possession.
The entire time, Beck marked German. The senior patiently waited for the Lions’ most spectacular player to make a mistake, and she did.
Beck drove a dodging German right into the crashing slide of Decatur’s help defense. Decatur got the ground ball and Brigette Ardis was given a free position shot on the transition.
Ardis took a step, fired a pass over to Yesko, who slotted it him to give Decatur the 9-7 edge with 4:15 left.
“I had all my faith in Brigette,” Yesko said. “Brigette had the power. She could have shot. She had an open shot, but she trusted me to get the goal. … That put us up by two. It’s a little safety net rather than one.”
Senior goalkeeper Jillian Petito had eight saves, but she wouldn’t need any in the final four minutes. Decatur held off Queen Anne’s and the senior goalkeeper was mobbed in blue and white as players washed over her.
Decatur worked together to run out the clock. While the VanKirks, Yesko and Petito names show up on the score sheet, the Beck and Bargar roles are just as important.
The Seahawks seemed to have it in the bag with a 7-4 lead and 13:50 remaining. Lexie VanKirk found Payton VanKirk for her third goal. The younger sister did the little head nod and the older sister re-cut and was wide open for the goal.
“She gave me the head nod,” Payton said laughing. “It worked really well. She had an awesome game and she’s one of those players that we really look to during the game because we know she can handle the pressure.”
Petito hopped into the conversation to explain what that kind of connection makes this team so great.
“That’s one of the key components to our team,” Petito said. “We’ve played together for so long, we don’t need to run a play to get open. We just need to read each other’s minds in way.”
The Decatur girls teams have won the soccer, basketball and lacrosse Bayside Conference title, featuring most of the seniors on this team in all three.
“It’s a cherry on top of our senior year,” VanKirk said.
But they’re not satisfied.
The state playoffs loom.
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